Just as Pan was made the son of a god who was, by then, more important, so too was Hermes given a familial connection among the other gods. Here, he must contextualize the gospel for a pagan world.

Second, since these idols are worthless, the people of Lystra ought to turn away from them (14:15). He welcomed his son, despite the fact that he was a mischievous thief, to Mount Olympus and appointed him as his herald to keep him occupied and take advantage of his speed. Barnabas were outraged and anguished that a work of God was being The local Zeus was known as Zeus Ampelites and was pictured as an elderly man with a beard, accompanied by Hermes, a young male assistant (The krater to the left depicts Zeus and Hermes in this way, althoug it dates to about 450 B.C.) They "tore their clothes" (Acts 14:14). Face with a potentially hostile pagan crowd, Paul does not give up on the biblical story in this sermon. The tradition of casted newer gods as the children of more established deities was common in Greek mythology, and the ties suggested by Hermes’s dual roles made Zeus the most obvious choice of parent. The crowd prepared to worship them.

How Zeus and his swift-footed son came to be so closely linked is due to the unique role Hermes played. Perhaps this is a hint that out best efforts to engage culture will encounter “great difficulty.”  However, this is no reason to give up on that engagement. The real God is Paul heals a man who was crippled in the feet. There are priests there as well as people about to honor Paul and Barnabas as a pagan god. For this list, I am following Eckhard Schnabel, Paul the Missionary, 164-6. You have to see this scene in your mind in order to fully understand the impact of Paul’s statement that these gods are worthless. Hermes, Greek god, son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia; often identified with the Roman Mercury and with Casmilus or Cadmilus, one of the Cabeiri. Paul and These people are as unprepared for the gospel as could be imagined! Fourth, that living God is the creator and preserver of life. Schnabel points out that this means that the people of Lystra ought to no longer prayer to Tychos, the god of luck, before tossing the dice. He made Hermes his messenger and herald to keep him constantly busy. Hermes traveled to give the command to the mortal prince and escorted the goddesses to him to be judged.

He has Masters degrees in Biblical Exposition and Old Testament from Talbot School of Theology (BIOLA) and a PhD in New Testament from Andrews University. Greek writers all agreed that Hermes was the son of Zeus. Long has taught full time at Grace Christian University since 1998, specializing in Bible and Biblical languages. There are priests standing right in front of him, about to sacrifice bulls to Zeus, and a large crowd of people are about to participate in that worship of Zeus.

Rather than appear himself, Zeus often sent Hermes to issue orders or warnings, and to carry out other errands. The idea of the trickster god also being the king’s herald was unique to the Greek world. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Cyllene was reputed to be his … Zeus quickly realized, however, that the young god would need to be kept occupied to avoid any more mischief. Both the trickster archetype and the role of messenger were, however, linked to the thunder king. First, Paul states emphatically that the gods worshiped in Lystra are worthless (14:15). The Slavic god Veles was even more similar to Hermes, a trickster connected to the Underworld who stole the cattle of the thunder god, Perun. In their idolatry, Hermes was the messenger of Zeus. Lystra was an important Roman colony, having been established by Augustus in 26 B.C. This is an opportunity to see how Paul speaks to completely non-Jewish audience, in complete contrast to the synagogue sermon in chapter 13. Click here. While these tricksters eventually earned the enmity of the ruling sky gods, however, Hermes won the love of Zeus because of his dual role as both trickster and messenger. This gave Hermes the authority to travel anywhere Zeus sent him, crossing the borders between both earthly lands and cosmic realms. in them", "rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17). Following the theft of Apollo’s cattle, Zeus welcomed the clever god to Mount Olympus and gave him the role of messenger and herald. In Greek mythology, Zeus is the father of the clever messenger god, Hermes.

Among the many inscriptions associated with Lystra is a dedication to Zeus of a statue of Hermes. theories later in their lives that today's atheists are loathe to admit? The ability to travel between realms made Hermes an obvious choice for the herald and messenger of the gods because he could travel where even other deities could not. Bulls and wreaths are brought for the sacrifices (the wreaths were flowery decorations for the bulls). Finding only Maia and her newborn in the cave, he ignored the nymph’s protests and knew that the infant god was the thief he sought. There are other inscriptions which mention priests of Zeus and an altar dedicated to the “hearer of prayer,” presumably Zeus (Witherington, Acts, 422. Paul is not seeker-sensitive, nor does he embrace their culture in order to preach the gospel, and in no way does Paul weaken the Gospel before this pagan crowd. The herald and messenger of the gods, Hermes was like a breath of fresh air on Mount Olympus. Why did Saul Persecute the Jewish Christians? To Paul and Barnabas, whom they mistook for their pagan 'gods' hearts with food and gladness", "they The miracle generates a crowd which thinks Paul is a god. They decided that Barnabas was the Greek god Zeus and that Paul was Hermes, since he was the chief speaker. Both of these roles also traditionally have links to the god of the sky, who in many Indo-European religions is the king or chief of the gods. For Hermes, a friendly, likable young god, became the patron not only of travelers and merchants, but of thieves and rogues as well. How do atheists claim God's creation originated? This is another opportunity  to think about applying the book of Acts – should Paul’s sermon in Acts 14 be used as a model for contextualizing the preaching of the Gospel today? Hermes could even issue commands to other gods in his father’s name. My work has also been published on Buzzfeed and most recently in Time magazine. He offered Hermes a place of honor at Olympus, which the thrill-seeking young god greatly preferred over his mother’s quiet rural cave. When Hermes as a psycho pomp evolved into the gods’ messenger, he also made the herald of their king.

In fact, this “general revelation” is God’s witness to the world, drawing the pagan nations to a knowledge of God (cf., Romans 1:18-20).

The couple asked only to be priests in the temple of Zeus and that they die at the same time, so that neither had to see the tomb of the other. Born a thief and a liar, he uses his wits to both help and aggravate the other gods of the pantheon. My name is Mike and for as long as I can remember (too long!) This put him in even closer contact with Zeus and made him an assistant rather than an antagonist. ACTS 14:14 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in … theories later in their lives that today's atheists are loathe to admit. In Ovid, Metamorphoses 8.626ff there is a legend that Zeus and Hermes had visited the towns and villages of the region in human form, but did not receive any hospitality. His mother was a reclusive nymph named Maia. How should pastors react today when people fawn over credited to them and that people were about to worship them. This speech does not have the desired effect: the crowd still wanted to sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas as gods. What is Paul's message to the Lycaonians of Lystra?

In particular, Hermes was one of the few gods allowed to travel freely into and out of the Underworld. His most recent book is Galatians: Freedom through God’s Grace (Wipf & Stock, 2019). He was born in the hidden cave she lived in, unbeknownst to any of the other gods. What is the Mark of the Beast? Hermes was therefore more closely linked to his father than many of Zeus’s other children were in their own legends. He was a psycho pomp, one who could guide the souls of the dead into the Underworld because could freely cross the barrier between the realms of the living and the dead. realities with which they were familiar.